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Superhero Hideout: UTMB students help create special place for children at the Ronald McDonald House of Galveston

PA Class of 2017 painting a city scene.

"There is a superhero inside all of us; we just need the courage to put on the cape."

Inside the Ronald McDonald House of Galveston, there's now a special room for children who are facing a life-threatening illness or disability to rest and regain their superhero powers. It's called the "Superhero Hideout" and it's thanks to the UTMB Physician Assistant Class of 2017 in the School of Health Professions, in collaboration with the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants organization.

"The children staying at the Ronald McDonald House have demonstrated how strong they are by persevering through their illness. It's our hope that this room will make them even stronger," said Wendy Carazo, a second-year physician assistant student at UTMB and community outreach director for Shriners Hospital for Children in Galveston and the Ronald McDonald House. She was awarded a $1,000 grant from the NCCPA to design and execute the community outreach activity.

Colorfully decorated with images of some of the greatest superheroes - Batman, Captain America, the Hulk, Iron Man, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man and Superman - the television room in the RMH was transformed into an empowering environment where "kids can be kids."

In just three short days, a design team made up of second-year PA students Elizabeth Knipp and Spencer Anderson, along with several other PA students, worked tirelessly to prep and paint the room. It was a labor of love for the students, who were excited to see the look on the children's faces when the project was finished. One RMH employee said the children didn't even show interest to turn on the TV, they just sat and stared at the superheroes.

"We hope the children who stay in the 'Superhero Hideout' feel like superheroes and find the strength to overcome their illness," said Carazo. "The resiliency these children and their families display demonstrates that they are truly superheroes in their own story."

Source: UTMB Impact